"Phlebotomist department is diabolical!"

About: Darlington Memorial Hospital

I attended my outpatient appointment in the oral surgery department which was extremely pleasant,, clean, spacious, and the staff were very attentive and informative, first class service really. However, my consultation ended up me being sent to phlebotomy for blood tests, this department coupled with medical outpatients, not so pleasant, busy, hectic, cramped, full waiting room, nurses stood around gossiping at reception, contrary to popular belief in many hospitals whilst patients are apprehensive and waitng to be seen , they really don't want to listen to staff moaning about staff/ hospital politics, and how tough they get it in their jobs!.. If it's that rough how come they can stand around talking about it whilst being paid to deal with patients? .. After an insufferable wait of nearly 40 mins to be seen by a phlebotomist , whilst sitting in cramped conditions, facing a screen just brainwashing about the family & friends test, I finally get called in for my blood test, by a head popping out of a door and shouting my name.. It's a room, with no privacy, chairs facing other patients,, I walk in say hello, and there 2 therapists in there... Neither look at me or speak to me, why?.. Because they are discussing a weekend experience at a restaurant, and reading off what they like and don't like to eat, I'm ushered to a chair, again no acknowledgement to who I am, just asked to recite my date of birth... Whilst continuing, to discuss this god awful meal the therapist had, the blood is taken from me, again without any concern to my well being, or the other patients well being in front of me, a very young boy who looked petrified!, only to be told he only had 3 to do and the previous patient needed 17, and not to be so scared!? .. Have they no concept during their experience of blood taking that this can be a massive unnerving experience for some patients?.. Not only have you been sent from another department for tests, from which some patients could be dealing from the shock of what they have just discussed about their diagnosis, you are subjected to a complete impersonal, cattle market type experience without any empathy or care from the trained professionals!? Does it end there?.. No I have to wait after my blood is taken, for the therapist to finish her recital of the entire menu of her meal to her colleague, before she can concentrate on labelling the blood bottles and cover my arm and let me go!.. So what started out to be a positive experience, turned out to be a god awful nightmare... Instead of concentrating on the family and friends test, which is a government ''tickbox' exercise, I would recommend you please retrain the staff to consider patients, as without patients they don't really have a job!?

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Response from Darlington Memorial Hospital

Thank you for providing feedback on your recent visit to the Phlebotomy department at Darlington Memorial Hospital in Medical Out-patients. I am very sorry to hear that you were unhappy with your experience on this occasion and we will make sure your feedback is passed to the Manager of the department. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you. If you feel this would be useful please contact the Trust’s Patient Experience Team on 0800 7835774. If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is patient.experience@cddft.nhs.uk If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the NHS Choices website. The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients. Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices. Patient Experience Team County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Tel: 0800 7835774

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